What Lessons Can We Learn From The Holocaust?
Life after the Holocaust
It is estimated that 3 million European Jews survived the Holocaust. The survivors can be grouped into three categories: the over 75,000 people who survived the concentration camps; those who lived in hiding or used false identity papers to cover up their Jewish identity; and those who fought in the woods with partisan groups.
When the war ended, the largest number of survivors emigrated to Palestine (Israel in 1948), and over 92,000 survivors emigrated to the United States. In the years after the atrocities they faced, they have rebuilt their lives and passed along the lessons they have learned from their experiences during the Holocaust to the rest of the world.
On November 20, 1945, the Nuremberg Trials were held to bring those Nazis who committed war crimes during the Holocaust to justice. The Allied countries (Great Britain, the United States, France, and the Soviet Union) charged 24 Nazi officials with war crimes, conspiracy against peace, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity. Four of seven accused Nazi organizations were also declared criminal: the Leadership Corps of the National Socialist Party, the SS (Schutzstaffel, "Defense Corps"), the SD (Sicherheitsdienst, "Security Service"), and the Gestapo. Of the accused individuals, twelve defendants were sentenced to death by hanging, seven received prison terms that lasted from ten years to life, and three were acquitted. Those sentenced to death were executed on October 16, 1946.
After the first Nuremberg trial, a dozen other trials were held by the authority of Control Council Law No. 10. About 185 individuals were indicted in these cases. Those indicted included doctors who conducted inhumane medical experiments on concentration camp inmates and prisoners of war, industrialists who looted the occupied countries and created forced-labor programs, and judges who committed murder and crimes hiding behind the judicial process. Others who were indicted included military leaders and civilian officials who were responsible for the criminal acts and decrees of the Third Reich. Although 35 defendants were acquitted, a number of doctors and officials were condemned to death by hanging; at least 120 others were imprisoned. The significant message of these trials was that justice must always be sought, no matter how much time has gone by.